Weekend wrap.

Christmas thoughts.

I’m pleased to say that even though Christmas is about to hit us, all is calm, peaceful and smooth sailing  down here. I consider one of the best decisions we have ever made was to avoid the hype and marketing that goes with Christmas. We focus on friends, food and fun. I must admit that I am not a religious person and for a long time I struggled as to why we even have to acknowledge Christmas when we are non believers. I found it just too hard trying to explain to many of our ‘just because you should’ extended family, so I came up with my own justification that I use the Christmas period to celebrate family and friends and to reminisce. I am also a big fat sucker for pretty lights and I like nothing better than sitting on the floor staring into those sparkly delights. IMG_6682We decorated a tree this week and it was quite emotional. No kids live at home any more and they have pretty much cleared out all the tree ornaments with them. That’s OK, my plan was that they get a new decoration each year, then when they left home they would have enough to do their own tree. We are left with lots of broken balls, baubles without hanging hooks and tinsel that has lost most of it’s sparkle. We do however, have some beautiful memories, cards the kids made from kinder and early school years.20141214_194754books that were lovingly read in the lead up to Christmas and ornaments made with love from family and friends. Little knotted christmas bells that my sister gave me when our daughter was born 15th dec 1986, they went on her hospital crib and jingled around the ward for a few days. A decoupage egg ornament my niece brought back from America, a lead light decoration made by a family friend who has had long-standing mental health issues and I have no idea where  or how she is now. Especially nice are the few ornaments we bought way back when we were as poor as church mice and the only thing we could afford when we went to buy some decorations were pencil sharpeners. Important not forget how far we have come and the obstacles we have tackled to get where we are now.

20141214_194841 20141214_194911

We went down to Monbulk yesterday morning to have a lovely catch up with friends and also managed to visit the Monbulk Market. Small market, but big on quality from what I could see. Our favourite organic vegetable growers Thorpdale Organics were there so I was able to thank Wendy and Tony for their ever consistent quality produce and outstanding service and wish them a happy festive season. I also got to sample some preserves from Grandmas Delights. Quite nice they were too!

We continued on to the Dandenong Market and returned with some pork ready for the next sausage making adventure, some turkish bread and mangoes. Summer is here for me when I start gorging on mangoes and this began in earnest today!

Outside wrap.

We (well, mostly Mr ATMT) finished fitting out the last wicking bed with its four poster poles. I can now train the tomatoes up the climbing twine and will be ready to fit shade cloth in preparation for the summer swelt that is bound to hit.

IMG_6695The plot where corn was  planted but had been decimated has had the chooks in there a few times this week to cleanse and I decided to put some diatomaceous earth in the drills with the new seed. DE is an organic product used for organic pest control management in livestock, poultry and agriculture. DE is a really interesting product and it would take far too long to cover its reputed benefits in this post so I recommend you do some research.IMG_6685Starting to get some decent harvests now. First tomatoes and capsicum were picked tonight, I also picked some very young butter beans. These went into a pasta dish along with some of the last of the broccoli, some snow peas, nasturtiums, asparagus and herbs.IMG_6703I made a pasta sauce out of sour cream, lemon juice, sage, S&P and some delectable pumpkin seed oil. This is an interesting oil that has the most amazing dark green colour and it adds a nutty overtone to the dish.IMG_6706 IMG_6708

Quite delicious really!IMG_6718Please take the time to enjoy your family and friends rather than get carried away with commercial activities this Christmas!




6 Replies to “Weekend wrap.”

  1. When I moved to Australia I left all my Christmas decorations with my son who loves Christmas. My husband doesn’t care much for Christmas so for a while we did nothing and it just didn’t feel right. I’ve been buying new things every year and now my tree is once again complete but without the wonderful things the children made when they were little.

    Your garden makes me swoon with envy. 🙂


    1. Ha ha Maureen! Have to get out the smelling salts with all that swooning! Sometimes we just have to make a bit of an effort or risk becoming bitter old bah humbugs I think!


  2. Your garden is looking so professional! I’m envious. Hopefully the new planting of corn will be ok.

    Christmas is a strange time in many ways, we are not religious either. But, I love sitting in the dark, watching the twinkling lights on the tree, and the fresh pine smell in the house is glorious.


    1. Hi Liz, so we are both secret twinkling tree light lovers! Maybe there is a whole world of us out there? Takes me right back in time and the smell is sensational. Thank goodness no one here has allergies, because they’d just have to mask up. No tree here if not a real one!


  3. Those tomato support posts are something to die for! And getting ripe tomatoes before Christmas! I’ve never done that. Sage is an interesting flavour for pasta…I would never have thought of that. How much did you use?


    1. Gardenworld Springvale, Jim Fah’s hydroponic shop for the tomato support ties, they were very reasonably priced and I’ve re-used these for about 7 years and may have to replace some of the tie next season. If so I will use jute because of its sustainable production. Jim is a great wealth of information for growing vertically! Mmmm, sage. I was getting sick of pasta with just whatever fresh veg we pulled and olive oil. I knew lemon and sage went well and that asparagus and lemon went well so I took a punt. It was fine, only about 6 sage leaves to juice of 1 lemon and about 1/2 cup light sour cream. I did slice some salami into the mix too 🙂 Just realised you probably meant the timber posts! Easy, just demolish a bungalow and you get heaps.


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